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Have you ever tried a honeyberry? Sample ours this weekend!

So much is happening this week that I barely know where to begin!


First of all, our land restoration project is underway. If you've been with us for a while, you know that we've slowly been restoring 3-acres of wooded land at our Booth Hill Rd. location. We received 3 grants from the CT Department of Agriculture to make this happen, and this is the final phase of the project, which includes some tree removal and screening and regrading topsoil on 1.5 acres.


The best news about this is that the land is where our strawberry field will be! Plants arrived this week and Randy is so nervous to begin. One of the varieties is called "flavorfest" - isn't that so fun? The bad news is that the used tractor Randy had intended to purchase won't start. His friend Will at Cecarelli Farms in Northford offered to loan him a Farmall Cub with cultivators and trailer it down here for us on Friday morning, which was so generous. We LOVE making connections with other farmers - we are all in this together!


Equally as awesome is that while we were up at Booth Hill this week, overseeing the restoration project and tending to the flower field, Randy and I took a walk over to the honeyberry plants. And guess what? They're yielding.

Honeyberries are a little known crop, which is why we were so hopeful that this project would pan out. These honeyberry plants came from Canada and had to pass through customs before we were able to plant them here as part of our new fruit field in 2021. In 2022 we had problems with our well during the drought and weren’t able to prioritize watering them as much as we would have liked to. Last year we thought we’d never see them yield - that it would be another failed experiment on the farm.


While we probably won’t have enough to sell this year (we'll know more later on Friday when we harvest for the weekend), we will have enough to give out free samples on Saturday, June 1st and Sunday, June 2nd so you can taste them. They're like a tart blueberry - think grapefruit!


And if you plan to come to our farm walking tour on Sunday morning, you’ll be able to catch a view of them, the restoration project, the flower field, and SO many more gorgeous sights! Remember to wear good waterproof shoes in case it's dewy.


In other amazing news, the grapes, raspberries, and peaches all look phenomenal and we should have an excellent yield of all later this season.


Victoria, Audrey, and Tobi all worked on pinching leaves off of the peach trees and removing any fruit that was growing too close together. These steps will ensure a better harvest in a few months.


The flowers also look incredible and we should be harvesting the first of those for our DIY flower bar on weekends starting in a few weeks.


We hope you can feel our genuine excitement for the season ahead. To be honest, Randy says he's never been so stressed and so behind on his work. I do feel bad for him, but the truth is that it's because sales have been really good and we've been spending more time harvesting for our store and wholesale orders than ever before. It's a good problem to have and it simply means that we need to regroup and pivot.


So, what is he working on?


The crew planted peppers this week. Tobi and Ryan were on the back of the transplanter in this photo. This machine punches holes in the biodegradable plastic and deposits water into the hole. Meanwhile, a person plants the pepper (or other plant) into the hole.


Laina and Eric then filled the hole with potting soil. This is something we don't do for any other crop, but it helps with weed control. We're going to try staking and tying up our peppers this year to provide them with additional support. It's been a few years since we've had a good pepper crop because of the drought in 2022 and too much rain in 2023. We're crossing all of our fingers and toes to get back on track this year.

Speaking of which, the onions needed a little TLC. Believe it or not, onions are one of our most highly coveted crops on the farm. And for a few years we've had setbacks with those, too. Last year so many of them rotted due to the heavy rains. If it rains continuously, we can't harvest them correctly in order to dry them out for storage. Weeds also tend to be a bigger problem in the onions than in the other crops. I did a run through on a couple of rows this week, and we'll attempt to finish weeding them in the next couple of days. We are aiming to prioritize the onions a little better this year.


Before...


And after... So satisfying!


The weather is always either for or against us. The heat last week was challenging because it's greens season and the greens don't like the heat. See how the escarole bolted? That means that the center starting growing upward in order to try to produce seed as quickly as possible - the plant senses the end of its life when it gets hot.

When this happens, greens get bitter and woody, so it's a race against time to save what we can and put it into storage. Most of this escarole will end up on the compost pile because of this, but we have a TON more right behind it. There is so much lettuce and romaine at this time that we are having a BOGO free special in the week ahead in our store and at the Shelton Farmers' Market (more info below).


Guess who's loving the heat though? Greenhouse tomatoes! These will be ripe later in June.

So many fun things are coming down the pipeline for June. Read about it below.


If you are an Extended Season shareholder, you're receiving mustard greens in your share this coming week.

Every week Randy is panic-stricken about vegetable availability, especially because said heat can ruin crops in a day or two. And then every week, something new comes into season and we're so excited. Mustard greens are a very tender large-leafed green. They're zesty like mustard and the center rib has the perfect crunch and doesn't need to be removed - sort of like Swiss chard. Personally I think there is a misconception about greens that you have to cook them all day. I chop them up and steam them quickly in a pan with water. Once they cook down, I remove the lid from the pan, add oil and other seasonings like crushed red pepper, and they're done. 10 minutes? They're also amazing in Asian-inspired soups with ground pork and rice noodles. Enjoy the final share of the Extended Season portion - Main Season members will join in with us next week!


And finally, we're asking for donations of clean, gently used boxes to pack orders into. Please use the photos below for size references - anything in that range would be so appreciated. No need to break the boxes down either. Simply rip off your address label and bring them into our store. Thank you so much for your help with recycling!


 

HOUSEKEEPING

  • The Main Season subscription program begins on June 11th. It will be a biweekly pickup week. Members, check your inboxes for an update to be sent to you next week!

  • The best way to reach us quickly is always by email - laurelglenfarm@gmail.com

  • Please note that Victoria does not work on Thursdays. Emails or phone calls received on Wednesday night through Thursday will be answered on Fridays.

 

WHAT VEGGIES ARE IN THE STORE?

Here are the fresh veggies we plan to have in stock while supplies last (through Friday, 6/7):

  • Arugula

  • Bok choy

  • Carrots (very limited quantities - final availability until July!)

  • Celery

  • Fresh herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary, mint, dill)

  • Kale

  • Leeks

  • Lettuce (BOGO free starting 6/1)

  • Mustard greens

  • Radishes

  • Romaine (BOGO free starting 6/1)

  • Scallions

  • Spinach (the last of it until the fall!)

  • Swiss chard

 

Sugar snap peas, broccoli, garlic scapes, summer squash, and new greens will be in season in a few weeks.


BOGO free lettuce and romaine - Saturday, June 1st through Friday, June 7th. In our store and at the Shelton Farmers' Market. Yes, you can mix and match!


 

SEEDLING AVAILABILITY (FINAL WEEK FOR A GOOD SELECTION!)

Sold as single plants ($4.50 each or 3 for $12):

  • Heirloom slicing tomatoes (Black Krim, Striped German, Brandywine, and Cherokee Purple)

  • Red and yellow slicing tomatoes (we don't label the specific varieties, but these are all of the same globe tomatoes we grow on the farm)

  • Red and yellow grape tomatoes

  • Red cherry tomatoes

  • Eggplant

  • Red bell peppers

  • Jalapenos

Sold in 2-packs ($4.50 each or 2 for $8):

  • Slicing cucumbers

  • Zucchini

  • Yellow squash

  • Broccoli

  • Kale

  • Watermelon

  • Cantaloupe

Sold in 4-packs ($8.50 each or 2 for $16):

  • Green and red lettuce

  • Green beans

  • Basil, cilantro, dill, thyme, parsley, mint, oregano, and sage

  • Sunflowers, snapdragons, and zinnias


FLOWER SALE

Final sale for hanging baskets - $10 each!

 

SHIRTS ARE IN STOCK

Shirts are $22, unisex, and available in S, M, L, XL, and XXL. They're 100% cotton, incredibly soft, and slightly baggy for a trendy, lived-in feel for stepping out at your favorite casual establishment.

 

The front is the Laurel Glen Farm logo and the back is a beet with the phrase "keep your friends close and your farmers closer."

 

STORE HOURS

Monday: 10:30 to 6

Tuesday: 10:30 to 6

Wednesday: 10:30 to 6

Thursday: 10:30 to 6

Friday: 10:30 to 5

Saturday: 9 to 4

Sunday: 10 to 3


** Vegetable subscription pickup occurs during all open hours on members' scheduled pickup day and we hold shares for 24 hours afterward.

 

UPCOMING FARM EVENTS


BOOK CLUB

Our next book club meeting will take place on a Saturday or Sunday morning in July. The date is TBD and will be determined based upon other farm events. We'll be able to announce the date in late June, but we recommend trying to complete the book by July 1st just in case (although many of us at the meeting had not yet finished! Don't let that discourage you from attending.) We'll ask you to RSVP once we post the date. 


This week's reflection question: Have you brought up any of the book's contents in conversation recently? What did you share? If not, try it!


 

FREE Farm Walking Tour

Sunday, June 2nd

10:30 to Noon

We are starting at 475 Booth Hill Road in Shelton. We will caravan back to the main farm at 247 Waverly Rd. for the second half of the tour.

 

The gate to enter will be open between 10:15 and 10:30.

 

Be advised that this will include a lot of walking in both locations and will be hilly. Although kids are absolutely invited, we will be taking our time, staying inside of walking areas, and in the elements for a prolonged period of time. We recommend wearing waterproof, supportive shoes.

 

Shine only - no rain date. Call 203-305-9179 or check our website, Facebook, or Instagram that day to ensure that the event is still happening if the weather is questionable.


 

Free Sample Saturday and Sunday

Save the date for Saturday, June 8th and Sunday, June 9th for free samples of tons of products in our store! Try the tea, coffee, salami, milk, oil, vinegar, tortilla chips, cookies, hot sauce, tzatziki, and more!


 

Meet the Fleet

In May, we featured "Little Massey" and in June, we're featuring the Farmall 200. Catch it outside our farm store on Father's Day weekend and June 22nd and 23rd. Read about its history, snap a photo, and let your little ones sit on it!


 

Pick-Your-Own Peas (tentative dates)

Tentative dates for PYO peas: June 21 (Friday), 22 (Saturday), and 23rd (Sunday). More information to come.

 

EXTENDED SEASON WEEK 6 OF 32

(June 4th through June 8th)

Main Season begins June 11th


Share Contents (Listed approximately from shortest shelf life to longest)

Large:

  • 1 small bunch of spinach

  • 2 heads of bok choy

  • 1 bunch of mustard greens

  • 2 heads of escarole

  • 1 bunch of kale

  • 1 bunch of radishes


Small:

  • 1 head of bok choy

  • 1 bunch of mustard greens

  • 1 head of escarole

  • 1 bunch of kale

  • 1 bunch of radishes


Caring For Your Share (All of this information, plus long-term storage info, can also be found in our Vegetable Library of Resources).

  • Store spinach in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Wash and spin out when ready to use (within the week).

  • Store escarole, bok choy, kale, and mustard greens in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Wash and spin out; use within the week.

  • Remove the greens from the radishes and store them in separate plastic bags. Wash and eat the greens within a few days; the roots will keep for a couple of weeks if stored properly.


The LGF Cooking Club (Recipes to try in addition to those in the Library of Resources!)

 

How to Change Your CSA Share Pickup Day

  • If you need to skip your share for the week, or change your pickup day, you must provide us with 48 hours notice for any of the options below. This is because we pack shares the day before pickup. Once your share has been harvested and packed, we can not cancel your pickup.

    • For Tuesday pickups being changed, we need to know by Sunday.

    • Wednesday pickups, we need to know by Monday.

    • Saturday pickups, we need to know by Thursday.

  • You have the option to choose another of those pickup days in a given week: Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday.

  • You can skip a pickup and receive a double the following week.

  • If you miss your pickup, we will hold your share for 24 hours after your pickup day, and then it will be donated to a local food pantry. With more members than ever before, we don't have the cooler space to hold onto shares longer than this. This is a great option if you accidentally miss your pickup - just come the next day.

  • You can always send a guest to pick up in your place by simply notifying us of their name.

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1 Comment


Unknown member
May 31

Beautiful blog - so informative. Thanks!

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